“Inside a cave off the coast of Maine, Chuck and Nancy find a mysterious chest containing the halves of a strange ring. When joined, the ring forms the word ‘Shazzan!’ and with this magical command, they are transported back to the fabled land of the Arabian Nights. Here they meet their Genie, Shazzan. Shazzan presents them with Kaboobie, a magical flying camel. Shazzan will serve them whenever they call, but he cannot return them home until they deliver the ring to its rightful owner. And thus begins their incredible journey.”
So goes the introduction to the long-lost Hanna-Barbera action-adventure cartoon series Shazzan, which ran from 1967-1969. Over the two seasons that Shazzan originally aired, there were a total of 36 episodes made, all are now available on the new two-DVD set, Shazzan: The Complete Series.
This was a surreal cartoon. Being set in the magical world of the Arabian Nights, anything and everything is possible. Every episode finds our young heroes faced with some strange, nefarious creature(s), with only Shazzan to save them. Sometimes the bad guys separate the two though, and both halves of the ring must be brought together to be able to call up Shazzan. This is when Kaboobie often comes to the rescue, flying one of them to the other in order to call up their genie.
The sheer number of evil-doers the kids run into on their journey is pretty impressive. A few of these include The Black Sultan, sea monsters, an evil hunter, a huge one-eyed ogre, and many more. I like how they communicate with their flying camel Kaboobie as well. Two years before Scooby-Doo arrived on the scene, Kaboobie and Scooby voice artist Don Messick was able to hone his talents.
The DVDs are neatly separated into season one and season two, with a total of nine shows on each. Each half-hour show contained two 15-minute Shazzan episodes. The set includes one bonus feature, titled “The Power of Shazzan,” which runs for 5:40.
Shazzan: The Complete Series is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, and is available exclusively in the United States.